Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the blockbuster between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium. Here’s how the game went.
|6th||Try – Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane)||Brisbane 4-0|
|17th||Try – Anthony Milford (Brisbane)||Brisbane 8-0|
|23rd||Penalty Goal – Jamayne Isaako (Brisbane)||Brisbane 10-0|
|30th||Try – Campbell Graham (South Sydney)||Brisbane 10-4|
|34th||Try – Cody Walker (South Sydney)||Brisbane 10-8|
|36th||Conversion – Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||10-all|
|39th||Penalty Goal – Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 12-10|
|49th||Try – Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane)||Brisbane 14-12|
|50th||Conversion – Jamayne Isaako (Brisbane)||Brisbane 16-12|
|57th||Try – Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane)||Brisbane 20-12|
|58th||Conversion – Jamayne Isaako (Brisbane)||Brisbane 22-12|
|73rd||Try – Alex Johnston (South Sydney)||Brisbane 22-16|
|74th||Conversion – Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||Brisbane 22-18|
South Sydney came out of the blocks quickly, but Campbell Graham missed an opportunity in the opening minutes to put his side up. However, it was the home side who dominated the game from here. The Broncos found an early four pointer through Kotoni Staggs, who was able to beat his opposite number quite easily. Brisbane suffered a massive blow after halfback Brodie Croft departed the field – holding his shoulder after a clash with Graham. This didn’t seem to affect Brisbane’s confidence, as they continued to dominate possession, and it wasn’t long until Anthony Milford scored an incredible individual try after he burst through the middle of South Sydney’s defence.
After just 20 minutes, the Broncos had 75 per cent of the possession and Souths did well to not concede more than the two tries. Graham was given an opportunity to redeem himself as he grabbed the Rabbitohs’ first try of the night in the right corner. Errors started to creep in the Broncos’ game which gave the Rabbitohs another opportunity to score after a break from James Roberts set up Cody Walker for a try; all of a sudden it was level at 10-10. A late penalty to the Rabbitohs allowed Adam Reynolds to put his side up by two points heading into the half time break despite Brisbane having 62 per cent possession.
Staggs continued his great start to the season as he carried two defenders into the in-goal and was able to force the ball down to put the Broncos back in front; a brilliant individual effort. If you thought Staggs was finished there, you were completely wrong. Herbie Farnworth was able to get up and catch a Milford bomb, flick it back to Jamil Hopoate, who passed to Staggs, with Staggs running under the posts for his his third try of the night: a career first hat-trick for the young Bronco. The Rabbitohs struggled to get back into the match after this; the Broncos’ defence wasn’t allowing them any room to move, and when Brisbane ran the ball they were consistently making five to 10 metres after the initial contact.
Despite struggling to create opportunities, the Rabbitohs were able to grab a try to bring them four points within the Broncos as Alex Johnston scored after his grubber kick rebounded off a Brisbane defender and fell back into his lap. Adam Reynolds’ brilliant kicking game was able to bring the Rabbitohs back down into Brisbane’s half of the field with a forced drop out. However, they struggled to create a try-scoring opportunity as their attack continued to look clunky. Anthony Seibold was able to get his first win over rival coach Wayne Bennett as the Broncos side was able to close the match out to win by four points.
Anthony Milford produced the highlight off the game with the Broncos’ second try. Milford was on the receiving end of a Jamayne Isaako offload which saw the five-eighth explode up the middle of the park until he was met by a pair of South Sydney defenders. Milford then went to his right, almost ran backwards for a couple of metres and, when all looked finished for this tackle, the Brisbane five-eighth targeted two defenders on the Souths tryline and was able to break his way through for a brilliant individual effort. Alongside this try, Milford finished the night with 109 run metres from nine carries whilst also breaking seven tackles.
Brisbane Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Darius Boyd 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. David FIfita 12. Jamil Hopoate 13. Patrick Carrigan. Interchange: 14. Herbie Farnworth 15. Andrew McCullough 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Ethan Bullemor.
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Dane Gagai 3. James Roberts 4. Braidon Burns 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Cameron Murray 13. Liam Knight. Interchange: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Ethan Lowe 16. Hame Sele 17. Alex Johnston.